Friday, March 21, 2008

Helping...or Providing Needs?

I hope everyone enjoyed the last 6 clips of the captioned videos I did! I truly do love, I LOVE LUCY and always wanted everyone to enjoy them also. That is why I proceeded to add captions to the ones I could do so we call could enjoy them using subtitles. I understand many people are against it, but that’s fine.

I wanted to ask you all a question and see your thoughts on the whole thing. I was in a discussion with another deaf person about captioned videos. I was very excited to be able to help other deaf and hard of hearing people be able to see my videos. Wait, what did I say wrong here? Apparently I used the word Help. I was informed by this deaf person, that many, many people do not like the word help and prefer to call it providing needs.

I was taken aback. I was shocked to be quite frank. Why can we not use the word help? I was informed many view it as “rescuing” them. Also that it just wasn’t an accepted form for most deaf, and hard of hearing people. But, we ARE helping people are we not? We are providing assistance, whether it is a hearing aid, whether it is subtitles or captions, or something. Instead most of them prefer to simply call it providing needs. To me, it sounds pushy to ask for a need, versus simply asking for help.

I use the word help because I need it. I need HELP in HEARING or UNDERSTANDING people or videos. I ask for help when someone needs to repeat something. I ask for help in turning on a caption so I am able to understand the TV show. I don’t ask them to provide a need. However, I DO understand the view some deaf and hard of hearing people have on using “provides needs” over “helping/help”. I am not ashamed to admit I need help.

Another example I was given was when interpreters are asked why they want to learn ASL. They respond “I want to help them”. Immediately I think “oh that’s great!” I am glad to see they are taking an active stance to help them. Once again, WRONG-O! That’s the wrong thing to say according to some deaf and hard of hearing people. They are supposed to say “I would like to provide needs…” HUH?! So, why can’t they say “we would like to help them”? I don’t see it as rescuing someone, but some do. Can they not be proud of wanting to help someone?

Anyway, in closing I wanted to ask what you all thought about using help versus providing needs. I always grew up on using the word help, because we were providing assistance, helping basically! Yet, this does not seem to be accepted by most folks. I see nothing wrong in using the word help and will not be ashamed to admit to it if I need help in trying to hear something. I have never used provide needs, it just wasn’t used in conjunction with my disability. So, what are your thoughts, and if you use help, why? If you prefer providing needs, please state why!

Have a great day and weekend folks!



Michelle said...

Everything is becoming so politically correct now. Years ago, this wasn't an issue, but as I've been blogging recently, I have noticed a change in attitude in some. In, fact, I went and took my state's interpreter's test and that was one of the things they gave me as feedback. "Remember, you're not here to help them, but to provide a service." I was kind of like you, huh? In fact, while I didn't even pass the test, it did make me stop and think if I wanted to try again, wondering what the Deaf world is beginning to think, or is it interpreters? I don't know. I certainly don't want to offend anyone, and I am hearing so it is hard for me to see it from the other side of the fence, so to speak....

Anonymous said...

Michelle, I agreed that everything is becoming so politically correct now (Hypocrisy!!!).

Recently, State employment service tried to get me a interpreter for our appointment. State employment spoke one of the interpreter service and they had to let them to choose the time and date for appointment, instead of my choices.

Guess what, I showed up the appoinmtent with employment agency with NO INTERPRETER. State agency told me that the interperter called them in the evening "sick leave" on day before appointment (last minute). State agency tried to call the interpreter in the morning in just few hours before our appointment. Interpreter never answer their calls. However, State agency called the service about it. The service sent back up interperter but she never showed up as well. State agency was so furious and digusting with interpreter service.

To be honest, I am thrilled that interperter service got caught in this situation. Our appointment was set up by one of our State Govenor's aides after Govenor got my letter about serious issues (not to mention it). Our appointment was monitoring by Govenor's aides and see if I am not making it up. State agency has to write up about interpreter service to the Gonvoner's aides.

It had nothing to do with you. IT IS about interprerter service who thinks they are above deaf people to make their choices over time and date for the appointment and they wanted more moeny like expecting two hours or more. Our appointment was only 1 hour appointment.

Abbie said...

With the times evolving, using the right political jargon has clearly proven that it easier said then done.

While I personally don't feel the negative stigma attached to the word "help", I can can only stipulate on why it is not used. There is nothing more annoying then when you are trying to do something yourself and you have people, with good intentions, wanting to help you. Its irritating when it is asked in a repetitive manner. Perhaps when it is used in that manner is when people can't help but feel that they are being demeaned or put down. I can certainly see it in that respect why they don't want to hear the world help.

When I want to help someone whether it would be opening up a door or bringing a box in for them, I ask once and thats it. I never look at it as providing a service when I am doing personal actions of assistance. I suppose when you want to do something for a large group of people that would benefit from it, the politically correct term would be providing a service to avoid drumming up any negatively charged feelings associated with the words.

This is a good blog and I love it because it brings up some things that most people won't think ago. Keep those wheel turning

proud mary keeps on burning.. whoops sorry, I had to bust out in song :)

David said...

Wow tough and thought provoking. I remember working with a person as a business mentor a few years ago. She always asked why I wanted to help people, to which I replied that I only give people a leg up, the fact of the matter is it is I who benefits from watching them climb the rest of the way up on their own.
Great post btw.